Palestinian Archbishop Urges Syrians to Find Solution Themselves, Advises Against Western Intervention

Over 100,000 people have died since the fighting in Syria began in 2011. | (Photo: Flickr / Rami Alhames)

A prominent Palestinian religious figure is denouncing foreign action in Syria, saying that any lasting solution will only be formed by Syrians themselves.

"We believe the solution in Syria should be a political one, through dialogue among Syrians," said Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia, Atallah Hanna, from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, who is the second Palestinian to hold the position of Archbishop in the history of the diocese.

The archbishop made the remarks during a sit-in by a large number of Greek Orthodox Palestinian Christians at the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to express sympathy with Syria while also discussing possible avenues for action to help quell the continued suffering of religious minorities in the country.

In a speech in front of the participants, Hanna called on "all honest people" to reject foreign intervention in Syria, which is currently being discussed by Western powers. He suggested foreign intervention would be seen as serving other interests and not necessarily the best interest of the Syrian people.

He called on the world powers concerned in solving the crisis in Syria to encourage the Syrians to sit around a table of dialogue and come to a diplomatic resolution for the on-going two-year conflict.

The Jewish Press noted that Syrian Christians are caught in a difficult place with few options to turn to. After suffering greatly during the civil war ripping apart the country and being caught between the larger Sunni-Shi'a battles in Syria, Christians have been forced to contemplate an uncertain future concerned with whether or not their interests and rights will be pushed to the wayside.

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